Ankita Raina is an Indian professional tennis player. Raina earned a gold medal in the 2016 South Asian Games, both in women’s singles and mixed doubles tennis tournaments. In April 2018, she was ranked among the top 200 singles internationally and attained the fifth position among the top Indian women tennis players with her remarkable achievements over the years. In 2021, Raina was also honoured to represent India in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games.
Ankita Raina was born on Monday, 11 January 1993 (age 28 years; as of 2021) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Her residence is in Pune, Maharashtra, India. Hindustan Times Her zodiac sign is Capricorn. For a short period of time, Ankita received her education at Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce. JK News Today
Height (approx.): 5’ 4”
Weight (approx.): 65 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Ankita Raina belongs to a Kashmiri Pandit family. Ankita Raina was born in Gujarat, but she has a Kashmiri descent, and Pinglish Tral in Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir is her hometown. In the early 1990s, due to the displacement of the Kashmiri Hindus from Jammu and Kashmir, Ankita’s family was one of them, and they also left Kashmir and settled down in Mumbai. JK News Today
Parents & Siblings
Her father’s name is Ravinder Krishan Raina. Her mother’s name is Lalita Raina.
She has a brother named Ankur.
At the age of eight, Ankita participated in the Future Kids – a talent hunt conducted by the All India Tennis Association in Mumbai. She represented Gujarat state at the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association championship. In this match, Ankita defeated the then Maharashtra No 1 tennis player, Surabhi Varma, who was fourteen years at the time. After winning the match by her daughter, in an interview, Ankita’s mother exclaimed,
They were not willing to let her participate at first since she was only eight and it was Under-10. But I insisted because there was no minimum age limit and we wanted her to play. Ankita then went on to beat the then Maharashtra No 1 Surabhi Varma, who was 14 years at the time, causing a huge upset.”
In 2007, Ankita participated in the Under-14 Asian Tennis Series. During these series, she played various tournaments in India and within Asia and won the series. Later, Ankita got selected among the top eight tennis players of Asia after winning the Under-14 Asian Tennis Series. Soon after this achievement, she received the opportunity to play at Melbourne Park, the venue of the Australian Open. Ankita defeated her South Korean opponent in the finals of the Australian Open. In 2009, Ankita started playing tennis professionally at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournaments in Mumbai. Till the end of 2010, she continued playing the local ITF events and tournaments with limited victories. Ankita defeated her opponent and World No. 4 tennis player, Samantha Stosur, in the US Open champion in 2011. In an interview, after winning the event, Ankita said,
I started crying. I had a flashback of everything that I had gone through all these years. On the third match point that I won, I just told myself ‘believe, it is now or never, and grab the opportunity.”
In 2011, Ankita, along with her partner Aishwarya Agrawal, won the three ITF circuit finals in doubles events. In 2012, Ankita Raina won her first professional singles match in New Delhi. In the same year, three more double matches were successfully won by Ankita in New Delhi. Ankita played mediocrely for the next few years at the ITF Circuit championships. Then in 2017, Ankita won two quarterfinal matches of her career in the Mumbai Open Tennis Championships. Ankita Raina attained the 181st world ranking in women singles after winning the Mumbai Open $25k title. She was ranked at the fifth position In India after Nirupama Sanjeev, Sania Mirza, Shikha Uberoi, and Sunitha Rao, the renowned Indian women tennis players. Ankita participated in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia and won a bronze medal in singles championships. Ankita is regarded as the second woman from India after Sania Mirza who won a WTA-level title in singles in Asian Games. In the year ending 2018, Ankita won the doubles event along with Karman Kaur Thandi at the 2018 OEC Taipei WTA Challenger.
In 2019, Ankita participated in the ITF W25 title in the ITF women’s tennis tournament in Singapore and won the finals by defeating her opponent Arantxa Rus, a Dutch tennis player. In January 2019, Ankita lost the match at the Australian Open. In May 2019, Ankita lost the match while playing against the American tennis player Coco Gauff at the French Open. In June 2019, Ankita played for the ITF Surbiton Trophy in London and won the match by defeating her opponent Sabine Lisicki, former Wimbledon finalist. In July 2019, at the Wimbledon Championships and the US Open, Raina lost both events. In October 2019, Ankita Raina played the finals of the 2019 Suzhou Ladies Open along with her partner Rosalie van der Hoek but couldn’t win the match. Ankita was playing this Suzhou Ladies Open match after attaining the top 150 doubles rankings in international tournaments. In 2020, Ankita gave a disappointing performance in few matches of the Australian Open as she was not well due to the Australian bushfires. Later this year, she performed well and won two back to back doubles titles along with her partner Bibiane Schoofs in Nonthaburi, Thailand.
Ankita, along with her partner, Rosalie, played the semifinal of the 2020 Thailand Open and it was Ankita’s first WTA Tour. The victory at the 2020 Thailand Open championships ranked her at the 119th position. In the same year, she played and won two more singles matches, one in Nonthaburi, Thailand and the other in Jodhpur, India. In April 2020, Ankita Raina, along with four other Indian tennis players, entered the Fed Cup World Group 2 playoffs for the first time in history and won the doubles tournaments. Sania Mirza, Rutuja Bhosale, Riya Bhatia, and Sowjanya Bavisetti played along with Ankita Raina in 2020 Fed Cup. Ankita also played the singles in 2020 Fed Cup; however, she lost the match by 6-1 opposite to China’s top player Wang Qiang.
In the 2020 French Open, Ankita Raina lost the singles while playing opposite Kurumi Nara, a Japanese professional tennis player. In December 2020, Ankita won the doubles match along with her partner Ekaterine Gorgodze at Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge organised in Dubai. This victory ranked Ankita at the 117th position, and it was the biggest victory in her career of doubles.
Ankita Raina lost the 2021 Australian Open in doubles along with her partner Mihaela Buzarnescu while playing against Olga Danilović. After Nirupama Sanjeev, Nirupama Mankad and Sania Mirza, Ankita Raina became the fourth Indian tennis player who represented India in the main Grand Slam after playing the event at the Australian Open. Ankita won the Women’s Tennis Association singles at the 2021 Philip Island Trophy. It was her first WTA singles match, and she defeated her opponent Elisabetta Cocciaretto from Italy by scoring 5–7, 6–1, 6–2 in this match. However, in the same season, Kimberly Birrell of Australia defeated Ankita in another single match. In 2021, Ankita, along with Kamilla Rakhimova, won her first WTA final doubles at the Phillip Island Trophy by defeating her opposite pair of Anastasia Potapova and Anna Blinkova. On this victory, Ankita became the second Indian female tennis player who won the WTA title in doubles after Sania Mirza. Ankita attained the 94th world tennis ranking after this win and stood at the third position in India after Sania Mirza and Shikha Uberoi. In 2021 the Abierto Zapopan tournaments, Ankita Raina defeated her opponent, the former fifth position holder, Sara Errani. At the 2021 French Open, Ankita Raina lost the singles match in the second round, and she also lost in her doubles in the same season. In the 2021 Nottingham Open Trophy, Ankita reached the semifinals of the season, but she lost the singles match while playing against Varvara Lepchenko of America. In the same series, she lost in the first round of the doubles along with her partner Lauren Davis. In 2021, Raina was selected to represent India in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that were earlier postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
- Career record (Singles): 288–231 (55.5%)
- Career titles (Singles): 11 ITF
- Highest ranking (Singles): No. 160 (2 March 2020)
- Career record (Doubles): 215–178 (54.7%)
- Career titles (Doubles): 1 WTA, 1 WTA 125K, 18 ITF
- Highest ranking (Doubles): No. 93 (17 May 2021)
- Grand Slam Singles results: Australian Open: Q3 (2021), French Open: Q2 (2020, 2021), Wimbledon: Q2 (2018, 2019), US Open: Q2 (2019)
- Grand Slam Doubles results: Australian Open: 1R (2021), French Open: 1R (2021), Wimbledon: 1R (2021)
- In the Asian Games, she won a Bronze medal – third place in 2018 at Jakarta–Palembang in Women’s Singles.
- In the South Asian Games, she won a Gold medal – first place in 2016 at Guwahati–Shillong in Women’s Singles.
- In the South Asian Games, she won a Gold medal – first place in 2016 at Guwahati–Shillong in Mixed Doubles.
- Celebrity: Rafael Nadal
- Movie: Chak De
- TV Program: Sarabhai vs Sarabhai
- Food: Pani Puri and Fish prepared Indian Style
- City: Ahmedabad & London
- Sports Persons: Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams & Sania Mirza
- Books that have influenced: Serena Williams, Queen of the court
- Bollywood actor: Akshay Kumar
- Most Cherished Award: Sardar Patel Eklavya Award given by Gujarat Government
- Most loved possession: Tennis Racquets
- Apart from English, Ankita also speaks Hindi, Gujarati, and Kashmiri languages fluently.
- When Ankita was four years old, she used to watch her elder brother, Ankur, playing tennis from the window of their house. Ankur used to practice tennis at a club near to their home. Ankita’s mother was also a college-level athlete during her academic term. Ankita used to accompany Ankur to the tennis club when she was very small. In an interview, Ankita said that when she first picked up the tennis racket, she was,
I was the height of the racket.”
- Ankita and her elder brother Ankur used to play tennis at the PYC Gymkhana during their school vacations at their relatives’ place in Pune, Maharashtra. Hemant Bendre, an Indian tennis coach, used to train the players at the PYC Gymkhana. Ankita and Ankur noticed that several Gujarati tennis players were getting trained under him and improving their skills. soon, Ankita enrolled herself at PYC and began her tennis coaching under coach Hemant Bendre while living with her maternal grandmother in Mumbai.
- In 2007, after conquering the Australian Open title, Ankita received the opportunity to play international events and championships. She went alone to various International tournaments. Initially, her father accompanied her to Jordan and Syria but at the age of thirteen, she toured alone to Sri Lanka for tennis tournaments. According to her parents, these alone journeys made Ankita a more independent person and player. In an interview, Ankita’s mother said,
We thought Sri Lanka will be a safe option to start. We were initially very worried, her kit back was huge and heavy but she managed it all on her own.”
- Ankita Raina gave her secondary school final examinations privately. She had to skip her school classes for playing tournaments. In senior secondary examinations, she scored 69 per cent even playing an ITF tournament between her two board papers.
- In December 2019, Ankita Raina was honoured with a trophy for her excellence in her field of interest by the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijay Rupani and Honourable Sports Minister of Gujarat, Shri Ishwarsinh Patel at the closing ceremony of Khel Maha Kumbh. Some other athletes from Gujarat were also felicitated by the trophies along with Ankita Raina.
- In April 2020, Ankita got the opportunity to digitally interact with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with several other Indian athletes. Modi discussed the challenges and opportunities faced by the athletes amid the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in India. He motivated the athletes to be positive and advised them to stay activated during tough times.
- Jayant Kadhe is the national coach of Ankita Raina since 2020. In an interview, Jayant said that Ankita gave her best tennis performances on the grass and hard court surfaces as these surfaces perfectly suited her gaming style. He further added that the clay surface was her weakest surface to play tennis. He narrated,
Ankita’s game is more suited to hard and grass courts than clay. She has an attacking game and is not sit back on the baseline and engage in rallies.”
- Several social media motivational platforms in India often invites Ankita Raina as their guest speaker.
- Ankita Raina is an animal lover, and she often posts pictures of her pet dog on her social media account.
- Ankita has counterpunching abilities, and she is a steady baseliner on the tennis ground. Sportskeeda
- Ankita Raina is often featured by several sports magazines on their cover page.
- Ankita Raina is a regular yoga practitioner, and she frequently posts her various yoga postures on her social media accounts.
- Ankita Raina is a fitness enthusiast. She regularly works out at the gym to keep herself fit and in shape.
- In an interview, Ankita revealed her diet mantra. She explained,
During tournaments I try maintaining a vegetarian diet which keeps me light during the matches. However, during training season as part of my protein intake I take animal protein to maintain the diet balance.”
- According to Ankita, the best thing about playing tennis was that one should get the opportunity to roam all around the world and get the chance to meet high-class professional tennis players. In an interview, she stated,
To compete with world-class professional players at the world level. Handling high-pressure situations. Getting a chance to travel, interact and imbibe different world cultures.”
She further added the main qualities of being a good tennis player. She narrated,
Apart from core tennis skills, physical and mental skills play an important role in the performance of a tennis player. Some other additional qualities would be- Perseverance, Handling Pressure, Adapting to new situations and Playing outside the comfort zone.”
She further added the resemblance between tennis and badminton racquets. She stated,
Similarities between Tennis & Badminton: Both sports need mental strength, physical strength and proper technique. Difference between Tennis & Badminton: The movement technique of both the sport is different. Badminton needs more explosive leg strength than Tennis and the energy systems used for Badminton is a little different from Tennis.”
- In an interview, Ankita Raina said that Sania Mirza was her idol since childhood. She exclaimed,
She has been an inspiration for me. Growing up I used to watch her, watch her matches at Wimbledon. It’s great to be here with her in the same tournament. I feel honoured. We’ve played Fed Cup (now Billie Jean King Cup) matches over the years together.”
She further added her inspirations to play tennis. She said,